Intern Alum Testimonials

Britt Snipes

“My internship project was to make short videos to raise awareness about the depletion of the Ogallala Aquifer, through OC’s Stewarding Our Aquifer Initiative. I love telling people about all my interviews I have done. This started as just an internship, but now it has turned into a passion–I have become an Ogallala advocate.”

Britt Snipes, Canyon, Texas

Landry Setliff

“The job shadowing really helped me figure out what I wanted to do with my life. My most favorite days were spent with the occupational therapist doing home visits. In these situations, we were able to see patients where they are most comfortable, and more likely to improve.”

Landry Setliff, Swisher County, Texas

Sandi Missildine

“In my internship, I was also pleasantly surprised how all the staff, even the charge nurses, work together and help one another, which is rare in my experiences. I particularly liked working in the Emergency Department and ICU at Covenant Hospital. However, I also worked in Med Surge and I was able to learn how to help patients up after an orthopedic surgery.”

Sandi Missildine, Tucumcari, New Mexico

Anna Jolley

“In a desperate attempt to get out of my apartment I decided to attend a Night Hike at the Lubbock Lake National Historic Landmark. That evening was my turning point; maybe this landscape wasn’t hideous, but fascinating and unique. There were animals I’d never seen before – roadrunners, horned lizards, coyotes, jackrabbits.”

Anna Jolley, Lubbock, Texas

“I learned so much about working in the real world. One of my main projects was to implement a youth entrepreneurship program into the community, and I planned an entire summer camp for middle school. I am glad I got to reconnect with Ogallala Commons, because once again they have made me step out of my comfort zone and really do something that will benefit me in the future.”

Scarlett Olsen, Pawnee County EDC, Larned, Kansas

“I gained an incredible amount of knowledge: learning how to identify and report diseases in crops, finding and describing pests in crops, accurately defining the stage a crop is in, and evaluating the conditions that a crop is living in. I am grateful to Ogallala Commons and Todd Ag Consulting in Plainview for giving me work experience as a field scout.”

Steven Contreras, Canyon, Texas

“I have done a myriad of projects from the Summer Feeding Program to helping set up for our county fair. This summer was a lot of fun and a great work experience. I had an amazing supervisor who helped me with whatever I needed. I hope to do this next summer!”

Shyla Mason, Wichita County, Kansas

Angelica Lopez

“My favorite days were those spent in the Labor and Delivery unit. I became really interesting in Women’s Health and Obstetrics and was allowed to spend a lot of time in those units. After my internship, I feel more comfortable in the hospital setting. I have developed an interest in Obstetrics and am looking forward to learning more about this specialty.”

Angelica Lopez, Pampa Regional Medical Center, Pampa, Texas

Jansyn Van Horn

“After completing my internship in Stafford County, I have a stronger motivation to return to a small community to work as a nurse, because there so many opportunities that you do not have working in a large hospital. I also liked the welcoming environment.”

Jansyn Van Horn, Stafford County Hospital, St. John, Kansas

Neal Zelarney

“The residents that tried to bring in those larger chains decided that the community could build a grocery store and it would serve the communities needs. This aligned with my mission to allow everyone to have access to healthy, local, sustainable, and culturally appropriate food. I joined the steering committee (the group of committed volunteers that are building the Northeast Community Co-op) almost a year ago now and have committed to improving access for the entire community.”

Neal Zelarney, Northeast Community Co-op, Denver, Colorado

Francine Richards

“My internship has become a story about a youth-based idea. The youth become proactive in growth and development of common assets in culture and sustain region as the time setting taking place in
my generation. My story is what connects me to my fellow interns following the same tale through their own projects under the name of Ogallala Commons.”

Francine Richards, Oglala Sioux Tribe, Wanblee, South Dakota

“What was most exciting about my internship was creating the Student Advisory Council for the program I was working for. The implied meaning behind the title No Limits No Excuses is that the community works together to create “no limits” for the students, and “no excuses” for the community in demolishing those limits.”

Olivia Trabysh, Amarillo Area Foundation, Amarillo, Texas

Max Enger

“One of the larger projects that I completed while at the farmers market was bringing recycling to the market. Before there was no recycling at all, but after I met with our local Waste management
company and convinced them to work with us. I also made signs to help educate our community on
how to recycle at our market. It was hard to convince them, since they were worried about contaminated objects being thrown in with the clean recycling, but I persevered in helping them understand how important it is to recycle at a place like the farmers market.”

Max Enger, Woodland Park Farmer’s Market, Woodland Park, Colorado

Teresa Rosas

“The internship has been a blessing in disguise for me. I am from a small town and finding summer work is hard. This internship has allowed me to work in something I love doing while learning about other opportunities. I am becoming more and more interested in food shed and eating healthier and supporting locally grown food. Just being able to learn about all sorts of new things that I never would have dreamed of is amazing.”

Teresa Rosas, Plains Memorial Hospital, Dimmitt, Texas

Esdras Rodriguez

“This internship has affected my life in that now I truly know I want to pursue a career in the medical field. I loved every aspect of working on the floors and fell in love even more in the ER. Due to this, I have now become interested in working in the ER as a Surgical PA.”

Esdras Rodriguez, Parmer Medical Center, Friona, Texas

“In my internship, I started Taos Pueblo Young Growers, which is designed to educate the participants about alternative ancestral commonwealth ideas so they may have a holistic view of education rather than just believing what today’s mainstream society dictates to them. People in small communities can live in a sustainable way and collaborate to accomplish common goals for prosperity and survival.”

Angelo McHorse, Taos Pueblo Young Growers, Taos, New Mexico

Mary Acuna

“I have to start off by saying that when I first applied for this internship I did not know what I was getting myself into at all, and even sometimes during my work I still didn’t know, but that’s honestly the best thing about this internship: it gives you free will to find out what it is you are interested in doing and an opportunity to actually do it. This entire internship has consisted of me getting out of my comfort zone. learning about a subject I was not familiar with, and also getting my hands dirty by doing some hard work.”

Mary Acuna, LULAC Garden, Seguin, Texas

Yadira Rivera

“The best part of my internship was that I was) able to see the impact that the organization makes in the Native community and to be part of that by helping them with the conference that honors those that have been the most instrumental.”

Yadira Rivera, First Nations Development Institute, Denver, Colorado
Other Intern Allumni

Jesus Beltran

“I have learned more in one summer about nursing than all my rotations in college combined! As a senior at WT A&M University, I needed to figure out what department I wanted to pursue after graduation. Thanks to the internship, I know what I want to do.”

Jesus Beltran, Hereford Regional Medical Center, Hereford, Texas


“Participating in this internship has been an amazing opportunity for me to learn so much about the art that is all around Atwood.  I was able to work on interview skills and creating conversations–a skill that is particularly difficult for a person with autism like me, to develop.”

Blake Hampton, Rawlins County HTC, Atwood Kansas


“There were some days however, where I questioned if my presence and lessons made an impact on them. Yet the next day, as if someone had heard my discouragement, a young mind would come up and greet me with a hug, telling me how much they enjoyed Garden Club.”

Mercedez Hernandez, Maverick Boys & Girls Club, Amarillo, Texas


“I first stepped onto this farm after midnight on May 29th 2014. Though I had some idea of what to expect, there was much I didn’t. There have been a lot of learning experiences during these last eight weeks–but nothing that I could view as a failure.”

Allison Bolte, Ponca Tribe Ag Farm, Ponca City, Oklahoma


“I was able to create floor plans and site maps, which made me realize just how much I like drafting It has opened an entirely new door and I’m excited to see where it leads.”

Mallory Horinek, Rawlins County HTC, Atwood, Kansas


“I was able to create floor plans and site maps, which made me realize just how much I like drafting It has opened an entirely new door and I’m excited to see where it leads.”

Danya Larreau, Arnold EDC, Arnold, Nebraska


“I made three videos during my internship, with pictures of the town and its events, information about our three restaurants, and interviews with five people about what our community has to offer, and why people should move here.”

Skyler Hembree, Wichita County EDC, Extension, and Fair, Leoti, Kansas


“My favorite experience was helping with the Gardening classes. Although the attendance numbers may not have been high, the classes were successful in getting the clients to grow vegetables at home.”

Kiley Braune, South Central Texas, Community Health Center, Gonzales, Texas


“I managed the packaging and distribution of the Senior Food Bundles in Cheyenne County. It was been the most rewarding and fulfilling part of my internship.”
Tiffany Poet, Northwest Kansas Healthy Communities, St. Francis, Kansas

vanessa leos 2

“I succeeded in maintaining a casual and professional rapport with the GRUB employees. I did not go over each morning and walk around asking questions or handing out sheets for them to fill out. I learned from them by spending time and putting in a full day’s work.”

Vanessa Leos, South Plains Food Bank GRUB Program, Lubbock, Texas


“A community garden is the opportunity for social outreach: by gathering the community, providing nutritious food, engaging youth to learning the importance of gardening, and facilitating a connection to food and the land.”
Elizabeth Roesler, Heart of Lubbock Community Garden, Lubbock, Texas


“The research I am doing makes me feel empowered.That is because knowledge is power. I feel that I am making a difference in the lives of others by giving them easy access to the information about the Ogallala Aquifer.”
Shelby Thibodeaux, Ogallala Commons Stewarding Our Aquifer Initiative


“The most exciting part are market operations each Friday. Interacting with vendors and patrons is enjoyable and the market managers and volunteers have been very helpful.”

Anna Akers-Lewis, Teller County Farmers Market Association, Woodland Park, Colorado

Allison Cox

“The final outcome for me was leaving with more confidence in my nursing skills and better knowledge of what it takes to provide the best care for my patients.”

Allison Cox, Covenant Hospital, Plainview, Texas

Beto Rincon

“I was able to develop a job description for my ideal job as a community food systems director of operations. My experience with Ogallala Commons allowed me the unique opportunity to travel to the American Southwest, Midwest, and the Badlands of South Dakota to observe individuals doing aspects of this vision.”

Beto Rincon, Apprentice, LULAC Community Gardens, Seguin, Texas


“I created, developed, directed, acted and produced a Public Service Announcement to  encourage tribal members to drink more water. I was given the opportunity to lead a group management training session with the other NB3 staff members and interns.”
Ashley Pino, Notah Begay III Foundation, Bernalillo, New Mexico

Colton Lundegreen

“I am in the process of becoming a County Extension Agent. Being able to work with extension throughout most of my internship helped me gain a greater knowledge about what all Extension does and why they do it.”
Colton Lundegreen, Swisher County, Texas


“We are the first married couple in Ogallala Commons Community Apprentice Program , and Micah has gained connections with other farmers, which has allowed him to expand his cultural practices to improve our vegetable production.”
Micah & Ashley Venhaus, MV Produce, Tulia, Texas


“The reason I full-heartedly agree with the mission of Ogallala Commons is because I hope to see that same change in my community. I can tell you for a fact that although I come from such an area defined to be in poverty standards, we as a people and community do not see that. What we see ourselves as, especially, from an Indigenous standpoint being Navajo, we see ourselves as survivors and a people of destiny.”
Nikki Tulley, NB3 Native Strong Program, Santa Ana, New Mexico

Karlie Novian

“Ogallala Commons has a great program. It very unique to find one that promotes work in the rural communities. I admit I was a little hesitant about how much I would gain, but this internship proved me wrong.”
Karlie Novian, Pampa Regional Medical Center, Pampa, Texas


“The completion of my internship is, to date, one of my most significant accomplishments. I was able to aquatint myself with a variety of people and organizations that could potentially influence my career path and success further down the road.“
Dollie Lookingbill, Amarillo Area Foundation, Amarillo, Texas


“My internship was a little challenging at first because I was so unfamiliar with an office setting and how nonprofits work. I am also a very shy person and I know that leads to some communication issues and smaller problems in the beginning. As my attitude began to change, things began to fall into place. I had a clear head and was able to focus on my purpose, starting the Taos Farm Stand Market. I overcame my shyness and met many new people that were able to help. This success led to many other successes in my internship journey.”
Tiana Suazo, Taos County EDC, Taos, New Mexico


“During my time working with Mr. Jason Hodges, I have become more knowledgeable about what it takes to be a professional in the field of Landscape Architecture. Mr. Hodges is the founder of his own business and that this adds a unique layer to working in the field of Landscape Architecture, and also added another level to the learning experience for myself.”

Greg Byers, Prairie Workshop, LLC, Lubbock, Texas